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The Importance of Mentorship

Nina Kent

One can easily look up the definition of mentorship in a dictionary and see that it is, ‘the guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or education institution’, but what does mentorship mean for In.Business students, and why is having a program dedicated to mentorship of Indigenous youth so important?

Here’s why. The socioeconomic status of Aboriginal people is second rate in comparison to the rest of Canada. Aboriginal peoples in Canada experience higher rates of poverty, lower levels of education, higher rates of unemployment, lower income levels, higher levels of incarceration, higher death rates amongst children and youth due to unintentional issues, higher rates of suicide, generally inadequate housing or living conditions, and the list goes on.

Investing in our young people is something that is greatly needed to address these inadequacies. Indigenous youth need role models, someone other than their parents or teachers that takes an interest in them as individuals, to nurture their aspirations and potentially guide or nudge them in the right direction. This is what we do with the In.Business program. We recruit charismatic, seasoned mentors to share their imperfect stories of roadblocks, challenges, and perseverance to a path of success.  

It is our mission is to change historically low Indigenous youth enrolment rates in college and university by creating a path for more Indigenous youth into post-secondary business study; empowering students to become catalysts for social and economic prosperity in our communities. In essence, we see education and relationship building as the opportunity for improving these statistics through our young people.

Having a mentor benefits Indigenous youth in so many ways: improved self esteem, self-confidence, attitudes, and behaviour. We have surveyed our students from the beginning to end of each program year and we see the improvement of students reporting they have a higher confidence in themselves when it comes to: working in a team, solving problems, public speaking, communication, time management, pride in their culture, heritage and community, achieving goals, and general optimism about their future. 

It is so important to keep fostering mentorship relationships for the youth, and betterment of Indigenous communities. If you’re thinking about becoming a mentor in order to help someone realize their potential, then please apply today. What makes a good mentor? Someone who is supportive, an active listener, empowering, takes an authentic interest in youth, foster self-decision making, and lends perspective. What are the benefits of being a mentor? There are so many, but most importantly, knowing you made a difference in someone’s life is priceless. “I just want to take a moment to thank my mentor, for all the opportunity he’s given me. I’ve won awards, I’ve travelled, I’ve turned on to a better path because of this guy” (quote from an In.Business student, 2017).

Make a difference in a student’s life; apply to be an In.Business mentor today. Call Nina Kent at (902) 574-1476 or email nina_kent@cbu.ca.

Visit link to apply today: https://www.cbu.ca/indigenous-affairs/unamaki-college/in-business/mentor-application/